Tabletop Simulator is currently $10 on sale on steam, and $7.50 each if you get it in a 4 pack. It’s a sandbox game that gives a framework for being able to create a virtual space for card games, board games, and any sort of tabletop game.
The game comes with some basic public domain games like chess, dominoes, poker, etc. But the real meat of it is the workshop which allows people to create their own content. There’s a range of stuff available there. Re-creations of actual board games/card games, original content like maps and figures for tabletop RPGs and war games, original art for popular games (Fallout Monopoly for example), different sorts of table spaces, and even games based on the physics simulation of the table like tabletop hockey or skeeball.
And of course the best idea I’ve ever heard for a board game variant, Cage Who, where you wittle down from 24 images of the great Nicolas Cage by asking questions such as “Is Nicolas Cage currently on fire?” and “Does he have the crazy eyes?”
The game has also been starting to attract official support from game publishers in the form of DLCs for various games. Currently those are Superfight, Cosmic Encounter Connector, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, and Mistfall. They say only the host needs the DLC, not every player, which is nice. It makes sense, since that’s how actual board/card games work, but they could’ve been greedy. I may pick up some of those.
Obviously some games are based on copyrighted works, so they’re often taken down. So a lot of popular games aren’t available, or are only available for a short period of time. I’ve read there are ways to host games not available in the workshop, but I haven’t dug around on that yet.
The game has ways of managing pieces like dealing and shuffling cards, determining what cards are private/visible to one player, flipping them up, etc. You can make things snap to a grid where appropriate. You can even have a virtual in-game tablet that you can use as a web browser that exists in the virtual game space, which is a really cool idea. But you can’t program the rules of a game into the mod - so you have to know what you’re doing. You could move a pawn 3 spaces, for example - the game isn’t checking for valid moves, it’s just letting you do what you want. Lots of games are simple and well known, but some may require you to find the rulebook.
I thought we might use this thread to meet up and find people who might want to play games together, maybe even have a regular game night or two if we find things we like a lot. It’s pretty much mandatory to have working voice chat - it’s not terribly social, and hard to communicate if you don’t. I don’t know how well the in-game voice works, but we’ll probably use mumble since we already use that for gaming and it’s excellent.
Take a look through the workshop and see what sort of games might interest you. The workshop is not very well sorted and much of the content is unrated, unfortunately, so you have to search for stuff or look at lots of pages to find stuff you might be interested in. It’s pretty easy to subscribe - you just click on the little plus icon when hovering over the item.
$10 is not very much (and $7.50 if you have some friends who want to split a 4 pack or if you just want to give them a late Christmas gift), so even just finding a game or two you like on there would be worthwhile.
I need to dig through the workshop list later, but so far I’d be interested in playing Pandemic, Cards against Humanity, Dixit, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Superfight, Apples to Apples, and I’m sure I’ll find more. I tend to prefer the more social/creative games to the rules-heavy ones, but I’m willing to try stuff.
So if you’re interested, post what you might like to try, when you’re available, your steam name, and coordinate some game nights. Add me on steam - I don’t want to provide a link because it tends to get me spammers but I should be the only SenorBeef on there.